In recent years the names of Black women have leaped from the front pages of our daily newspapers. Rosa Parks, Daisy Bates, Autherine Lucy, Vivian Malone and Gloria Richardson are but a few, who have at various times, become the focus of heated controversy. In most instances, their claim to front-page coverage followed their defiance of some aspect of institutionalized discrimination or segregation.
In taking a stand, Black women, from earliest days on American soil have troubled the waters. These women possess qualities of courage, determination and leadership which they exhibited before they were seized in Africa and freighted into bondage in the new world, These qualities have endured.
Not even the darkest days of slavery were able to break the spirit of the Black woman. Instead they emerged as the mainstay of the Black race. She is homemaker, teacher, physician, artist, missionary, bread winner (if need be), and social reformer. She has been the inspiration of Black families for many generations.
Black women have often been critized and accused of being domineering to such an extent as to erode the masculinity of Black men. This dominance represents a response to a need. If a woman’s husband falls victim to the mob, she must keep the children together, wipe their tears and plan for their healthy growth in a world they may feel nothing but hate for.